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Kotzebue and Nome Rivalry On Display During Husky Shootout

Both Nome varsity basketball teams went to Kotzebue this past weekend for the Husky shootout, each returning with a 1-2 record and an all-tournament player.

The Nome boys defeated Kotzebue while losing to Nikiski and Homer. The Lady Nanooks defeated Homer 50-32 while losing to Kotzebue and Nikiski. The Nome girls’ lone win came in their last game on Saturday, which coach Joseph Musich told KOTZ Radio they built up to over the three-day tournament.

“Last night, even though we lost I don’t even consider it a loss because of how well the girls played and how well they executed in the final seconds. It was just fun to be around and fun to see. But as far as today [Saturday] goes, we definitely needed to bring home one win.”

The girls had Brooke Anungazuk named to the all-tournament team and the boys had Stephan Anderson.

Nome Nanook Caden Hanebuth attempts to find a teammate to pass to as he’s guarded by Kotzebue Husky Aiden Ivanoff during the 2020 Kotzebue Husky Shootout. Photo by Wesley Early, KOTZ, used with permission. 

On the boys side, Nome coach Pat Callahan was excited that their lone win was against their rival Kotzebue, whom they beat 57-53.

“Some schools don’t have a rival and it’s a sad thing. It’s a great thing we have a rival in Nome-Kotzebue, that’s the rivalry. I really think every kid’s goal in Nome or Kotzebue should be to beat the other – beat the rival – and go to the state tournament. That’s really the only two goals we have on the season.”

The boys tournament title ultimately went to Nikiski, but Nikiski coach Reid Kornstadt told KOTZ that the road to the Husky Shootout wasn’t easy.

“We struggled early in the season, we had some injuries and things that have just been difficult and it was a slow, difficult start to the season so we were really looking forward to coming here and just seeing if it could be a time where we come together, and they really did. So it far exceeded where we’ve been this year for sure; we took a huge step.”

While the varsity teams were in Kotzebue, the Nome JV teams were at home hosting the Norton Sound Shootout with Brevig Mission, Golovin, and Kotzebue JV. The girls champion was Brevig Mission and the boys championship went to Golovin.

Next up, the Nome boys basketball team will be traveling to Bethel for a pair of games against the Warriors this weekend. The Nome girls basketball team will be staying home to host Bethel.

Image at top: A scrum of Nome Lady Nanooks (L-R: Brooke Anangazuk, Jelsey Gulogeren, Sharla Kalerak, Lisa Okbaok and Macey Witrosky) try to block a shot from Kotzebue Lady Husky Kaila Short during the 2020 Kotzebue Husky Shootout. Photo by Wesley Early, KOTZ, used with permission.